AAP Updates Guidelines for Treating Childhood Obesity

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued its first comprehensive guideline for treating children and adolescents with obesity. 

In past collaborations with scientific organizations, the AAP produced multiple recommendations on the topic of clinical care of children with overweight and obesity. These include Expert Committee Recommendations in 1998 and 2007, the AAP Section on Obesity and the Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight in 2013, and the Algorithm for the Assessment and Management of Childhood Obesity in 2016. 

However, the new report, released January 9, is the first clinical practice guideline to contain evidence-based evaluation and treatment recommendations of children and adolescents with obesity. 

“We now have evidence that obesity therapy is effective. There is treatment,” said Dr. Sandra Hassink, medical director of the AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight and co-author of the guidelines. “Now is the time to recognize that obesity is a chronic disease and should be addressed as we address other chronic diseases.”  

Acknowledging the complexity and chronicity of obesity is core principle of the guide. While there is no simple solution to obesity, the guide focuses on a variety of treatment options, from intensive behavioral and lifestyle changes to anti-obesity medications and surgery. 

Read the complete guide here